Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day and Patriotic Quilts

There are few words that can describe my gratitude for those who have served and currently serve in our military. 

Your selflessness astounds me!

And unfortunately, not all of the brave are "in" the military. I am in awe of your strength.

Thank you military families! 

Over the past few years, I have tried to give back as my way of saying "Thank you" in honor of those who have served our country, especially for those who lost their lives while protecting my freedom.  

I've made Honor Flight Quilts (click on the tab at the top of the page to see those), I've made Quilts of Valor, and I've simply made patriotic quilts to give to individuals and families to say "Thank you." 

What I do, have done, and will continue to do really amounts to peanuts in comparison, but it's what I can do for them. I will continue to make and give these quilts for as long as I possibly can. 

The following two quilts were made using the same pattern, but with much different fabrics. They were both given to family members.

Red, White and Blue Quilt

Red, White and Blue Quilt

I got this Patriotic Rail Fence pattern from the very generous Mary at

This was donated to Quilts of Valor

Red, White and Blue Quilt

This nine patch and half square triangle quilt that I call Simply Patriotic, is a variation of Mary's 4 Patches on the Diagonal.  I've made multiple variations of this quilt over the year and have donated all of them. I think it's time to make another one, but make it scrappy. 

Red, White and Blue Quilt

This wall hanging is at my house and I display it in honor all of of my family members who have served, or who are currently serving. 

I am proud to be your daughter, aunt, niece, or cousin. Thank you!

Red, White and Blue Quilt

This large (king size) pineapple log cabin quilt is also at my house. This took me a very long time to complete (it was packed away for a while), but it was well worth the time and effort. This quilt has served me well over the years, but not in how you may think. Besides the obvious use of a quilt, this particular quilt is a reminder to me of how to persevere and complete what I start, no matter how challenging. 

I ran into a number of obstacles while working in this. Since I was pretty new to quilting when I started this and wasn't following a pattern, I was not very generous with my required fabric amounts and therefore had to come up with some very creative piecing methods. I was also teaching myself a new technique and that was definitely a challenge. 

I am proud to have met my challenges and finished this quilt; but I'm even more proud to be an American. Whenever I use this (it is always on one of the beds in one of the spare rooms), I am reminded of the dedication and perseverance of our military and I am forever grateful.   

Red, White and Blue Quilt, Pineapple Log Cabin

And this quilt top, (Simple Gifts is the name of the quilt and I know that it's in a book, but I can't find the name of the book - or the book.), is ready for quilting. It has been done for a while, but is still in the "To Be Quilted" bin, I need to get that out and resolve that.

Red, White and Blue Quilts, Simple Gifts

I have a few other patriotic quilts ready for quilting and I already have homes for them, so you should be seeing pictures of those posted here soon.

In closing... 

Celebrate our freedom today.

Celebrate and Honor the lives of those
who paid the ultimate price.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Finish and Progress

I never did post a picture of the finished Black and White Charm Quilt I was working on last week so here it is.

Black and White Charm Quilt, Flange Machine Binding

I love how this turned out and will be making a larger version at some point. I may even make the larger version in black and whites, as I REALLY like how this turned out. 

No matter how much I tried, I could not get the wind to cooperate in order for me to get a good picture of the entire quilt. Oh well; I'm sure you get the idea.  

Black and White Charm Quilt, Flange Machine Binding

I quilted all of the white spaces with a 1" diagonal grid and then stitched large squares inside the print blocks. The spacing on that was also 1". (You can see the stitching in the prints better in the picture below.)

I bound this entirely by machine and added a small flange. I love the little punch of color that adds to the quilt!

Black and White Charm Quilt, Flange Machine Binding

It's a little challenging to see the flange in that picture, so here's a close up. I chose the blue because it matches the blue in the backing fabric, but any color would have worked. :-)

Black and White Charm Quilt, Flange Machine Binding

Jack had a singing gig this morning at Lakeside Chautauqua's community church service and had to be there 1 1/2 hours before the performance for rehearsal. I didn't want to drive over separately, so I took some handwork to do. It was a beautiful morning and I sat outside Hoover Auditorium and started another grandmother's flower garden block. 

The hall is BEAUTIFUL, as is the rest of the area. This is my first trip to Lakeside and I enjoyed my time there.

Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside Ohio

This is how far I was when I decided to take a picture, I finished the second ring and have started adding the outer color ring but did not take a picture. This went together very quickly and a number of people stopped and asked what I was doing. This time, even though I was talking, I did NOT stitch anything backwards. (See this post about that!)

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

I did a count last night and based on my original sketch, I only need seven more blocks, after this one. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and will try to squeeze in some hand stitching as much as possible so I can start piecing the quilt top together. I'm excited! :-) After those seven blocks are done, I'm going to lay them out to see if I want to increase the quilt or leave it as is. 

No matter what I decide, I am enjoying the slowed down and soulful process of working on this.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hand Sewing Progress

I like the idea of measuring time by how much hand sewing I get done rather than by a clock. It sounds much better to say that I almost pieced a complete Grandmother's Flower Garden block than that I waited for over 3 1/2" hours.  

While waiting for Jack at his eye doctor appointment, this is what I accomplished. 

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

I started the wait with none of this sewn together, and I'm very happy with what I accomplished, even though I had a mishap.

While I was sewing, an older couple asked what I was making and then we got to talking. For those of you who know me, I know you can't believe that I was talking to strangers, right?  :-)  Anyway, this is what happened while I wasn't paying attention.

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

Can you see that hexagon sewn on backwards?  I hate having to rip and re-sew because I wasn't paying attention. It didn't take much to fix it though, so it wasn't terrrible.

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

And it didn't take much for me to start paying attention to what I was doing. Of course that could be because the couple were called in to see the doctor.  :-) 

I'm going to finish this block in a little bit before going to bed; and then I'm going to do a quick count of how many of these I've done and how many more I need to make. 

I know this has been a long time in the making, but I'm looking forward to sewing these into a quilt - FINALLY!!

And there's more good news than just the fact that I got this block done. Jack's appointment, although long, went very well. The recent injections have been working and he can wait until August to get the next one. He's very happy about that and I can understand why. :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tip Tuesday! - Stop the Creeping Foot Pedal

"Tip Tuesday!" - Stop the Creeping Foot Pedal

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!

Have you ever been sewing along and then just feel like that something just isn't right? 

You don't quite know what's wrong, but something just doesn't feel natural. It's almost like you aren't relaxed and enjoying the hum of the sewing machine.   

I try re-positioning my hands but that doesn't solve the problem.

I finish the pieces on which I'm sewing and get up to press. 

The proverbial light goes off when I sit back down to sew and I can't find the foot pedal.

It has slid under the cabinet yet again and now I have to fish it out with my feet. 

Ahhhh, I get it back in position and comfortable, productive, and enjoyable sewing returns.

So, what can you do to stop the pedal movement? 

You can buy special non-slip pads for your pedal like these below.

Pedal Sta II Sewing Machine Pedal Pad, , hi-res

Martelli Non Slip Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Pad

You can put some of that squishy shelf liner under the pedal and that seems to work well. I try to remember to keep a piece with my machine for those times when I'm not sewing at home (classes, workshops, etc.)

But, you can also make your own and here's a tutorial to help you do just that!

Sew a non-slip sewing machine foot pedal pad - a genius idea to stop the foot pedal slipping away from you.  I'm on it!

Make one (or two) for yourself, and then make some for your quilting friends. They will love them!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Design Wall Monday and Time for One More Quilt

It's Monday and that means it's 
Design Wall time!

I sort of have two things up today. One on which I'm deciding borders and one that is ready for binding. 

Here's the one that is ready for binding. It's a simple quilt using 5" squares. I'm still playing with quilt options for when I host Charm School Sew-Ins. I want the quilts to be quick and easy, especially since there are a fair number of new quilters/sewers who join us for these days. This quilt will fit right in. I quilted this with a 1" grid in all the white areas and then stitched in 1" increments around the big dark squares. I like the quilting a lot, even though it took me longer to do that than actually piece the quilt.

Just to try it out, I made a small version (6 blocks) but think I will make a larger, 12 block version during the sew-in. This one isn't a bad size, about 41" x 59" but I like making most donation quilts larger - closer to 60" x 80". 

I like the black and white blocks here and am glad I pulled them out to use. The backing is a print fabric with lots of pretty pastel birds, flowers, leaves, etc. (I forgot to take a picture of the back - sorry!), and I am going to bind this with black and include a robin egg blue flange. Maybe I'll have a picture of that tomorrow. :-)

Here's the quilt on which I'm trying to decide borders. It's the Yellow Brick Road baby  quilt that I used as "in progress" samples during a recent class. I wrote about it HERE

I've added a small red border that you can see here.

I'm considering leaving this as is and bind in red with the blue/red fabric as a flange. My original plan was to have this small border and then a larger border of the blue/red fabric but I'm having second thoughts.

I think I'll leave it up for a little while before I make the decision. What are your thoughts?

I plan to finish this and use it as another Hands2Help donation. I know I can get this done before the deadline. :-)

What's on your design wall today?

Check out what others have up 
today by going to 

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tip Tuesday!

Oops! I guess this Tip Tuesday! should be about learning to read a calendar.  

I told you last week that the next couple of weeks were going to be quite busy so I was going to "pre-post" some items. I had this post up and scheduled to magically appear at 2:01 am on May 13th. I did that because I thought May 13th was Tuesday - NOT Wednesday.

Imagine my surprise when I checked the blog before heading to bed and found that the post had not shown up. Upon checking I realized that I had scheduled it for the wrong date. ARRGGGGHHHH!

Anyway, here it is - a day late. Sorry!

"Tip Tuesday!" - Making Rugs Stay in Place

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!

I've made a number of rugs in the past couple of years - woven rugs, quilted rugs, chenille rugs, etc. Here are a few pictures. 

These two are from the Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop and were very fun to make. Read about these rugs HERE.  

Here are a couple of chenille rugs I made for Sheryll and Linda. Read about these HERE.

So, why am I talking about rugs on Tip Tuesday!? Because I've struggled with how to make these rugs stay put and not slide around. I've tried a number of options but I have yet to be totally please with the outcome.

I've tried lining the back with that squishy shelf liner. That works, but can't be washed in the washer or it will fall apart.

I've used that same shelf liner and basted triangles of it in the corners of the rugs, but again; it doesn't last and has to be removed for washing.

I've tired using different fabrics for the backing but that's been a pain on which to sew.

And the search continued until I saw something on  that sounded interesting.


This has worked for me and there are a lot of comments with other suggestions.  I'm excited about this because I want to make more rugs this summer. 

So, if you have some slippery rugs, check out the link above and see if you can find a solution to the problem.

Have a great day Everyone!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Design Wall Monday and More

This is still on my wall, but there are more blocks done. I'm happy with the progress, considering I'm only working on this as a leader and ender project or in between other projects. Click HERE to see what I had done last week. 

If you read yesterday's post about my quilt challenge, then you know that I finished my Stepping Stones quilt before the challenge deadline. So did Sarah, and she sent me a picture of her completed quilt. She finished before the deadline too. Yippee!  It's beautiful!

And finally, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the grandkids are growing up. I got a call from Quinn yesterday, and this picture. She lost her first tooth! She is so excited! Most of her classmates have lost a number of teeth and she was thinking that she would never lose any. Well, she also said that the one next to it is loose, so I guess she was wrong. hehehe

What is happening in your quilting world?

Check out what other quilters have one their design wall.

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times